Painting a radiator can really bring it back to life and brighten up the entire room. It can be a tricky job however. And long streaky paint runs are a common sight on poorly painted radiators. Luckily for you though I have a complete step by step guide that makes achieving a flawless finish a breeze.
Step By Step Guide
We will start this guide with spray paint. If you want the easiest way to achieve a perfect finish then I would definitely recommend that you use spray paint.
Specialist spray radiator paints are available and that is what I used. This is not cheap though, the can cost me £8 and only did a single radiator.
Step 1 – Clean Using Sugar Soap
Before we do anything else we need to give the radiator a good clean. I like to use sugar soap as it helps to remove any grease from the radiator.
Step 2 – Sand The Radiator
Now that we have removed the bulk of the dirt and grime it is time to give the radiator a sanding.
Use a high grit paper for this, I used 240 grit. You don’t want to gouge the existing paint as this will be hard to cover. That is why we use high grit paper.
Step 3 – Clean Again
Now that we have sanded the radiator down we need to clean it again. This is to remove all of the dust caused by the sanding.
This will be the final cleaning before we paint the radiator, so make sure you get everything off.
Step 4 – Turn The Radiator Off
You don’t want the radiator to be hot when painting so make sure it is turned off. If you are not sure what all of the symbols on your radiator mean then have a look at my guide!
Step 5 – Shake The Spray Can
Before using the spray paint we need to give it a vigorous shake for two minutes. While this does seem trivial it is important that you do it.
Adorable toddler not essential.
Step 6 – Paint… Finally
Now after all this prep work it is finally time to do some actual painting. In all painting jobs, it is often the prep work that takes the most time.
Good prep work however massively increases the overall finish level of your painting. Put the effort into the prep work and the results will speak for themselves.
You want to hold the can 20-30cm away from the radiator and always keep it moving as you paint.
Apply a thin coat. You are not trying to get this all done in one go, if you do you will definitely end up with runs in the paint.
In the end, it took me three coats to properly finish my radiator so don’t worry if it is not looking perfect after a single coat.
Here you can clearly still see the bare metal through the paint. But no need to panic, just add more coats!
Step 7 – Paint a second coat
Let the paint fully dry and then apply a second coat of paint. The radiator paint I was using dries really quickly, fully dry within an hour, so I didn’t have to wait around for long.
If you have ended up with any runs in your paint then now is a good time to sand them out. Use high grit paper, 240 and above, and sand them level. Make sure you clean up all the dust before painting.
Now you can see the radiator after two coats of paint. Still not perfect but getting there. I added a third and final coat to finish the radiator off.
The amount of coats used is completely up to you, just add the paint lightly and keep going until you achieve the finish you desire.